Vuvuzela sim: Goooooaaaalllll, bzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Vuvuzela 2010 is a free vuvuzela simulator--an iPhone and iPad app for reproducing the droning buzz of the globally infamous stadium horn heard in every World Cup 2010 soccer match.

Vuvuzela 2010 has a simple interface: a long vuvuzela fills your screen lengthwise, and you just tap it (or, even better, shake your device) to produce a loud, realistic "vuvu" drone, which sounds even better on speakers or headphones.

You can tap (or shake) it repeatedly to create a looping--and potentially even more irritating--sound, and you can customize the horn's color by tapping one of 10 jerseys … Read more

Justin Bieber out-tweeted by French World Cup drama

Like you, I heard rumors that the World Cup had sent the Internet into a record paroxysm of activity.

However, Tuesday, I tried to perform an experiment to see if Twitter motion reflected that of the Web at large.

So I asked the vast and swift brains at Kosmix, who have created to have at least 11 fingers on the soccering pulse of the Twittering world, to perform an exclusive analysis and tell me just how Tuesday morning's games were being reflected on Twitter.

Tuesday morning's games were important, because their results would lead to … Read more

Lakers victory defeats World Cup Twitter records

Sports fans are raising Twitter's usage to a new level: A goal by Japan's World Cup soccer team against Cameroon on June 14 led to a record number of "tweets per second" for Twitter, only to see the record beaten again a few days later when the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in the deciding game of the NBA championships.

The Japanese goal, which led to a 1-0 victory for the team, resulted in a peak of 2,940 tweets per second in the 30 seconds following the game according to a post on the Twitter blog. … Read more

The 404 605: Where we pull the yellow card (podcast)

Today's episode of The 404 Podcast is all about techy gift recommendations for Father's Day, OpenBook exposing more Facebook privacy issues, and an amazing video of a Japanese beatboxer performing the Super Mario theme song.

We begin the show by pulling our own version of a yellow card in response to the questionable officiating in this morning's World Cup match between USA and Slovenia, but you'll have to tune in to hear our twist on the penalty.

Father's Day is this weekend, and if you still don't know what to get for your Dad, … Read more

Algorithm ranks world's top soccer talent

These days, in pretty much every sport, there is no hiding from statistics. Coaches, team owners, fantasy leaguers, and fans are tracking and analyzing a player's every move, fitness level, and more.

And now, thanks to a chemical and biological engineer at Northwestern University who is also a self-proclaimed football fanatic, we can compare our number-crunching with a much-touted new algorithm.

Professor Luís Amaral's rating system, unveiled Wednesday in the online journal PLoS ONE, was first put to the test after the 2008 European Cup, when it ranked the 20 best footballers that played--a list that … Read more

World Cup: England vs. U.S. re-enacted in Lego

Many around the world were deeply moved by Saturday's World Cup encounter between England and the United States. While many Americans feared their team might be outclassed, perhaps they weren't fully aware that the England team flatters to deceive more often than a telemarketer.

The game, which finished 1-1, was highlighted by one of the most glorious English goalkeeping errors (enacted by the latest English net custodian, Robert Green), in a veritable pantheon of glorious English goalkeeping errors.

Should you have missed the game, or merely found the experience unbearable, some very enterprising Legoists would like you to enjoy a more, well, playful version.

I thank the Guardian for bringing us all closer to these highlights (there were really only a couple), performed by little Fussball men in Lego World.

The movement of England captain Steven Gerrard is beautifully realized. The joy of his teammates is captured in a manner entirely appropriate to stiff upper lips.

And when America's Clint Dempsey wanders forward and shoots with all the strength of ginger ale and Green allows the ball to bounce off his hands and into the goal, it is an exhibition of vast poignancy. … Read more

Math brain predicts World Cup winners

So much money has already been wagered on the World Cup finals, which started Friday in South Africa.

So few of these bettors, however, will have turned to the Institution of Engineering and Technology's magazine before risking their savings, their house, or the money they were keeping back to pay the divorce lawyer.

The magazine, you see, has helpfully published an analysis of the World Cup, written by a man for whom numbers say so much. You might experience conflict with your potato chips when I tell you that the University of Salford has an Economics of Gambling degree … Read more

Yahoo signs David Beckham

The brand has seen better days. Somehow, it seems to have slowed down, allowing others to pass it, while it pauses in the sunshine, deciding how next to make some money.

Yes, of course I'm talking about David Beckham. Such a renowned name. Yet, these days, he's renowned for just being David Beckham, rather than for any great achievement at his current club, the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Those of you with an excessively pragmatic bent will therefore be unsurprised that Beckham has gotten together with another fine brand of old, Yahoo. According to Reuters, Yahoo has announced that … Read more

Google hides World Cup Easter egg in search

Google has changed a single search page to prepare us all for the FIFA World Cup, which is slated to begin in just two days.

When users type "World Cup" into Google Search, they will find a different header at the bottom of the page where Google allows users to click on the desired page in results. Instead of the familiar "Goooooogle," the page says, "Goooooooal!."

Wondering if the change occurred on every search page related to the World Cup, I started trying other queries out, like "soccer," "world cup soccer,&… Read more

Score your own ice soccer balls

Want to add a bit of novelty to your party drinks during World Cup season? Well then, the mini version of the Ice Ball mold is a must-have. The mold, which is made from aluminum, uses conduction to create 1.2-inch or 2.5-inch-size ice soccer balls. It's also dead simple to use.

You just need to heat the mold briefly in hot water, place a regular ice cube in the center, and watch the two halves of the mold come together, and you'll have a miniature ice soccer ball in seconds. The only thing preventing us from … Read more